This seminar will be an exploration of what Ingrid Rojas Contreras so accurately refers to as, “the middle space between languages,” in her essay, Translation as an Arithmetic of Loss. We will discuss the ways in which the characters in the two novels, Afterlife by Julia Alvarez and Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, as well as the speakers in the additional poems, navigate the in-betweenness of being bilingual. Each text is a discovery of the ways in which people live both within and between two cultures, languages, and often, identities, and how this shapes their stories. We will also read the Rojas Contreras essay to question what is, both lost and gained, for the characters in the novels whose stories are told from inside this middle space.
First Assignment: Before the first meeting, participants should have read the first half of Afterlife and her essay in advance of the seminar. We will begin with a discussion of the essay to form a foundation for understanding Antonia, Alvarez’s protagonist, who continually questions her relationship to language(s).
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Translation as an Arithmetic of Loss by Ingrid Rojas Contreras https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/06/18/translation-as-an-arithmetic-of-loss/
Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Most Delves have at least one access spot available. Contact Susan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate